Open Budget Survey Document Availability Tracker
December 2016 Update
To recognize improvements and identify slippages in budget transparency between rounds of the biennial Open Budget Survey, we periodically assess the public availability of the eight key budget documents – an essential component of transparency. This update presents the results of the most recent of these interim assessments.
|Open Budget Survey 2015||December 2016 Update|
|Pre-Budget Statement||Available to the Public||Produced for Internal Use Only|
|Executive's Budget Proposal||Available to the Public||Produced for Internal Use Only|
|Enacted Budget||Available to the Public||Available to the Public|
|Citizens Budget||Published Late||Not Produced|
|In-Year Reports||Published Late||Available to the Public|
|Mid-Year Review||Not Produced||Published Late|
|Year-End Report||Available to the Public||Produced for Internal Use Only|
|Audit Report||Available to the Public||Available to the Public|
As of 31 December 2016, the government of Zambia makes three of eight key budget documents publicly available online in a timeframe consistent with international standards. This reflects a net decrease over the findings of the Open Budget Survey 2015, which assessed the availability of documents up to 30 June 2014. Since that assessment, Zambia has produced the Executive’s Budget Proposal, the Year-End Report, and the Pre-Budget Statement for internal use only, but has published In-Year Reports in a timely manner.
To improve budget transparency, Zambia should publish an Executive’s Budget Proposal and a Year-End Report, and produce and publish a Citizens Budget. For more information on the content that the eight key budget documents should contain, and the publication timeframe for each document, please see IBP’s Guide to Transparency in Government Budget Reports and the Open Budget Survey Guidelines on Public Availability of Budget Documents.
Transparency (Open Budget Index) 39/100
The Government of Zambia provides the public with minimal information.
Public Participation 40/100
The Government of Zambia is weak in providing the public with opportunities to engage in the budget process.
By legislature 27/100
Budget oversight by the legislature in Zambia is weak.
By auditor 58/100
Budget oversight by the supreme audit institution in Zambia is limited.
Zambia should prioritize the following actions to improve budget transparency:
- Publish its budget documents in a timely and consistent manner, including its In-Year Reports, Citizens Budget, and Mid-Year Review.
- Increase the comprehensiveness of the Executive’s Budget Proposal, including by providing more detailed information on debt.
Zambia should prioritize the following actions to improve budget participation:
- Provide detailed feedback on how public perspectives have been captured and taken into account.
- Hold legislative hearings on the budgets of specific ministries, departments, and agencies at which testimony from the public is heard.
- Establish formal mechanisms for the public to assist the supreme audit institution to formulate its audit program and participate in audit investigations.
Zambia should prioritize the following actions to strengthen budget oversight:
- Establish a specialized budget research office for the legislature.
- Ensure the executive receives prior approval from the legislature before implementing a supplemental budget.
- Ensure the supreme audit institution has adequate funding to perform its duties, as determined by an independent body (e.g., the legislature or judiciary).
Zambia’s score on the Open Budget Index shows that the government provides the public with some, albeit incomplete, information on the central government’s budget and financial activities during the course of the budget year. This makes it difficult for citizens to hold government accountable for its management of the public’s money.